Deodhar Trophy: Karnataka survives Tiwary, Lad scare

Karnataka survived a Manoj Tiwary and Siddhesh Lad scare before scampering home with a six–run win in its opening Deodhar Trophy match.

Karnataka players celebrate after Shreyas Gopal picks up a wicket.   -  R.V. Moorthy

Karnataka survived a Manoj Tiwary and Siddhesh Lad scare before scampering home with a six–run win in its opening Deodhar Trophy match here on Monday.

Confronted with a target of 297, India 'B', cruising at 241 for four, ran out of breath when the seasoned Tiwary, after a brilliant 120 (110b, 10x4, 4x6), was stumped and allowed the opposition to come back into the game even as Lad (70 off 78 balls, six 4s) made a desperate effort towards the end.

Karnataka owed it to Ravikumar Samarth’s century and leg-spinner Shreyas Gopal’s crucial wicket of Tiwary. Samarth was among the most gifted youngsters in Karnataka but did not fulfil the promise he showed in his early cricket grooming. On Monday he gave a glimpse of his batsmanship with an aesthetic performance that marked Karnataka’s win over India 'B'.

India 'B' vs Karnataka: Key highlights

The century by Samarth dominated the first half of contest after Karnataka opted to bat in perfect conditions. In the latter part of the match, a fighting effort by Tiwary led to anxiety in the Karnataka camp but it was not enough to alter the final result.

The India 'B' bowlers had to toil to make an impact and had no answer to the innovative approach by Samarth and Mayank Agarwal. The onus was on India 'B' to induce errors from the Karnataka batsmen, who were unwilling to concede an inch. Excellent footwork enabled Agarwal and Samarth to tackle all the good deliveries that Umesh Yadav and Siddharth Kaul attempted.

Kaul was especially impressive even though Umesh Yadav erred in length. Left-arm spinner Dharmendrasinh Jadeja, who loves to tease the batsmen with his flight, struggled to command respect and was handled with ease. It was to the credit of Samarth and Agarwal that they did not relent and maintained their positive approach until the latter got out playing a cut off an innocuous ball.

Samarth, 25, shouldered the Karnataka with the touch of a professional. His wide range of shots allowed him the freedom to guide the innings and give his partners space to take measure of the situation. He took charge with some excellent drives in front and then opened up to explore the field as India 'B' found it hard to contain his aggression. Timing was the essence of his 115-ball assault that contained 13 fours and one six. His third-wicket partnership of 86 with Pavan Deshpande put the Karnataka innings on the right course and eventually set up the stiff target for India 'B'.

Brief scores:

Karnataka 296/8 (Samarth 117, Agarwal 44, Kaul 3-49) beat India 'B' 290/9 (Tiwary 120, Lad 70, Gopal 3-29) by 6 runs.